combat Syllabus

Our syllabus has been painstakingly formulated after decades of study into the martial arts and effective self-defence. Our goal is to deliver both real-world self-defence and sparring skills. It has 4 major components:
  • Core techniques
  • Combinations
  • Self defence
  • Sparring

Fundamental or Core techniques

Core techniques are further divided into 6 categories-
  1. Striking
  2. Kicking
  3. Defences
  4. Counter attacks
  5. Clinches, takedowns, throws, sweeps and defences
  6. Ground fighting
These core techniques are the building blocks of just about everything else we do. It is very important to us that students develop good form that gets the whole body behind a technique.  Frequently this enables students to hit far harder than their body size or strength would indicate. Training these core techniques frequently also makes them more reflexive and reliable. Most of this training is done with focus pads, kicks shields and striking melons which gives students a realistic feel for the effectiveness of what they do and it is also a great work out. We feel our spread of core techniques gives students a strong base from which to build on. Once students have developed a proficiency in core techniques students should feel free to explore other techniques especially in the realms of grappling, takedowns and ground fighting. While our syllabus includes grappling, takedowns and ground fighting our strategy is primarily stand up. That is we aim to stay on our feet as much as possible. There are three reasons for this:
  1. Grappling and being on the ground strongly favours the bigger stronger attacker
  2. Staying standing in self-defence gives you a lot more options of how to deal with your assailant or assailants and most importantly you maintain an easy option for escape
  3. Once you are on the floor you are almost completely vulnerable to multiple attackers
With this in mind, our take down syllabus mainly features techniques that don’t involve going to the floor with your opponent (with a couple of notable exceptions). Equally, our ground fighting syllabus is mostly about escape and standing back up. We do teach some offence on the floor but the primary goal of this training is actually for the student to become more familiar with common attacks on the floor so they can become more proficient at avoiding them and escaping them. What you can not tell from our ground fighting syllabus on paper is the dirty techniques that we use that are illegal in Jiujitsu and MMA competition, which can quickly turn the tables on bigger opponents or skilled opponents without having to be experts at jiujitsu.


While many of our core techniques are practiced in combinations, practicing and developing more combinations gives students a stronger understanding of the context of core techniques and fight dynamics such as footwork or setting an opponent up. Not to mention having a wide variety of combinations give a student a bigger tool box of reflexive skills to draw upon.


In our style, there is a heavy emphasis on context training in both our core and combination syllabus, but this is taken much further in our self-defence syllabus. The self-defence syllabus has been carefully formulated to deal with the most statistically probably self-defence situations. As students grow in confidence defences are taught and tested with increased levels of pressure and realism so that you will know what you have learnt will be reliable and effective in reality, and that you will have the decisiveness to act when you need to. We also teach students the likely context of situations they might happen in, as well as teaching you awareness, avoidance and de-escalation skills to help you stay out of trouble in the first place. In formulating our defences we studied techniques from a wide variety of martial arts and combative systems, running them through a set of 9 tests to ensure that what we adopted works.


Sparring is a vital component of Shinkyu Combat for many reasons: In sparring, you have to deal with opponents when you don’t know how they are going to attack you, unlike in self-defence drills. This teaches you to deal with unpredictability and how to read your opponents, it forces you to make decisions and be tactical and strategic and it is also fun. It is common sense – how can you learn how to fight if you rarely or never spar? We use a combination of full face head gear and a system for controlling techniques, so we can spar using an almost full range of self-defence tactics while still maintaining a safe training environment- exceptionally few clubs out there do this kind of training. We introduce sparring to students according to their ability and also broaden the range of techniques they can use too, according to their control. This ensures that we both build students confidence up as they learn and also can increase the level of realism and dirty self-defence tactics while still maintaining high levels of safety. Advanced levels of sparring are always overseen by a third party too. It is very important we maintain a safe and friendly training and sparring environment, where egos are left at the door and we are all training to better ourselves and our partners. For those of you who are competitive, we periodically run tournaments and fight nights where you spar under competitive conditions to challenge yourself in a safe and refereed environment.


We give Students the option of wearing belts in class but it is not compulsory. There are 10 grades up until black belt, these serve as great motivation and milestones of your progress, but grading is not compulsory.